At FuseIT we spend a lot of time focused on how to attract new business using web forms. This short commentary shares what we have learned using Sitecore websites but it also applies to sites using other technologies.
Think about how exciting it was to find a product (or service) you had been trying to find for hours, days, or even weeks. That excitement is part of a much larger process:
- Needs awareness
- Information search
- Evaluation of alternatives
- Resolution of concerns
- Purchase decision
- Post-purchase behavior
Your website plays a key role in this process.
Clarity in Three Seconds
Imagine visitors were allowed only three seconds on your website. Would they understand your offering? In fact, three seconds is all you have before they get bored and leave. If they go to another page on your website, restart the counter - three seconds!
Visitors want their expectations met. Whatever enticed them to click on your link, and patiently wait while your page loaded, MUST be immediately obvious when the page becomes visible. But don’t worry, you have three seconds.
Now you need to compel them to stay! Jumping into the detail is not ideal. First, provide a clear introduction and support this with a list of important points in order of popularity (not glamor). Finish with a conclusion that encourages your visitor to fill in the web form for more information.
Focus on delivering a logical flow of solid information with no hype. Be careful with introducing novelty and intrigue as is commonly suggested. Yes, it does make interesting reading but it may also discredit you. It is a fine line between genius and insanity and you need your message to be the former.
If you can offer your visitor complete, relevant, accurate, and timely information in a way that progressively builds their understanding, then you can begin to relax the three-second rule.
We want the visitor to evaluate alternatives on your site, and not be lured elsewhere. If you have multiple offerings that are similar, list them separately and use comparison charts to keep the visitor's level of interest high. Visitors love to compare, and deciding which of your products to buy is a good thing.
Visitors who venture into the detail pages need to see examples of what can be done with your product or service and see customer references or feedback, from those who are using your products or services.
When it comes to communication, people are complicated – just look at your friends. Some like to pick up the phone, some like email, other people like social media, and some prefer the anonymity of chatting. They all have their reasons - accommodating them all is important.
Live chat is one of the easiest ways for your visitor to resolve concerns without making a commitment or disclosing information.
Your website is the front door to your business. Powerful hosting technologies such as Sitecore CMS have personalization tools to keep visitors on your site, and glued to your pages.
Dynamic personalization continuously adjusts what it shows the visitor based on where they have just been on the site. This means visitors get an ever-increasing focus on their interests rather than generic or irrelevant content. There is so much to discuss on this topic it deserves its own post.
Web Forms Must be Simple
Don’t frighten visitors away with a long list of fields asking about every detail of their lives. Web forms need to be simple, mobile-friendly (single column), and address privacy and concerns about email address harvesting, and hidden costs.
It is hard to imagine a time when a visitor is more interested than when completing a web form. After form submission, email a thank you note and promise to respond soon. But don’t say it if you can’t do it.
Use a CRM
CRM software (like Salesforce) offers powerful tools to collect your web form data. Your sales team can track and add information as your prospect progresses through the sales cycle to become a valued customer. The CRM will have also workflow capabilities, tasks, and reminders to help you better communicate.
FuseIT specializes in Salesforce integration. Our enterprise S4S Cloud, S4S, CDP4S, S4D, and CDP4D integrations enable the real-time exchange of data from web technologies to Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics 365. Please contact us for more information or to see a demo of these in action.
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